Connect Your Own Renewable Energy System

With the increasing popularity of renewable energy, we want to help our members learn more about installing their own solar, wind or energy storage system as a way to save money and protect the environment. Proper interconnection of a distributed energy resource system is important to ensure a safe and reliable electrical grid. The State of Minnesota requires all distributed energy resource systems, which can parallel to the Dakota Electric system, apply for interconnection.

Energy services representative meeting with Dakota Electric members about their solar installation

Renewable Energy System Information

The first step in the interconnection process is to submit information about your renewable energy system by using our online power portal. Find all the required documentation, learn about the process and technical procedures and check the status of your project while installing your renewable energy system. To get started, click my power portal button.

For questions about the interconnection of distributed energy resource systems, including solar, wind and energy storage systems, please email us at [email protected] For more information about interconnecting with small solar systems, call 651-463-6180.

For larger commercial size distributed energy resource interconnections, Dakota Electric has a pre-application request option where, for a small fee, the applicant can submit a request for a pre-application report to learn more about potential issues with a proposed interconnection location. To request a pre-application report, please use the online power portal.

 

My Power Portal

Learn more about the interconnection process and the program and rebates available.

The most relevant information regarding interconnection between a residential distributed energy system and Dakota Electric’s distribution system.

Summary Letter

A high level flow chart showing the major steps in the interconnection process for most distributed energy resource interconnections.

Interconnection Process Flow Chart

To assist residential members in recovering the costs associated with installing a solar system, Dakota Electric created a performance-based solar rebate program.

Residential Solar Rebate Information

Dakota Electric offers C&I members two interruptible options – full interruption and partial interruption. During times of peak electricity use, Dakota Electric asks participating members to reduce their electrical load by at least 50 kilowatts (kW). Businesses achieve this reduction by manually reducing their load or installing a generator to power their facility during the peak demand period.

C&I Interruptible Generation Information

Rates and Conditions of Service

There are several rate options available for distributed generation facilities that are interconnected to Dakota Electric’s distribution system. Participation in each option depends on the size and type of generation being installed.

A qualifying facility is a cogeneration or small power production facility which satisfies the conditions established in Code of Federal Regulations, title 18, part 292. For most Dakota Electric members, these are on-site solar and wind generation facilities.

Qualifying Facilities Under 40 kW

A net metered facility is an electric generation facility constructed for the purpose of offsetting energy use through the use of a qualified renewable energy or high-efficiency distributed generation sources.

Net Metering Rate 

The simultaneous purchase and sale rate is available only to qualifying facilities with capacity of less than 40 kilowatts which choose not to utilize net-metering or offer electric power for sale on a time-of-day basis.

Simultaneous Purchase and Sale Rate

Time-of-day rates are optional for qualifying facilities with capacity less than 40 kilowatts.

Time-of-Day Rate

Qualifying Facilities 40 kW or Larger

Time-of-day rates are required for qualifying facilities with capacity of 40 kilowatts or more and less than or equal to 100 kilowatts. Time-of-day rates are also optional for qualifying facilities with capacity greater than 100 kilowatts if these qualifying facilities provide firm power.

Time-of-Day Rate

A qualifying facility with capacity greater than 100 kilowatts must negotiate a contract with the utility setting the applicable rates for payments to the customer of avoided capacity and energy costs.  Such contracts will be with Great River Energy (Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier). Great River Energy’s energy PURPA qualified DG purchase rates.

Purchase Rate

Minnesota Statute 216B.1611 directed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to establish generic standards for the interconnection and parallel operation of distributed generation fueled by natural gas or a renewable fuel, or another similarly clean fuel or combination of fuels of no more than 10 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

Dakota Electric’s Rider for Distributed Generation describes the conditions of service applicable to eligible on-site distributed generation resources. Purchases of energy and capacity from distributed generation covered by M.S. 216B.1611 and receiving service under Dakota Electric’s Rider for Distributed Generation are made under the terms and conditions of Great River Energy’s Rider for Distributed Generation.

The Rider for Standby is applicable to any member who uses a 40 kW or larger qualifying facility or 60 kW or larger distributed generation system that serves all or a portion of the member’s electric energy requirements and where the member chooses to use the Cooperative’s electric system to serve that load when the distributed generation system is either partly or wholly unavailable. When the member uses electric service from the Cooperative, such service will be provided under one of the Cooperative’s firm retail electric rate schedules to which this Rider is attached.

Rider for Standby Service

Notice to Cogenerators and Small Power Producers

In compliance with Minnesota Rules Relating to Cogeneration and Small Power Production, Chapter 7835, Dakota Electric Association is required to interconnect with and purchase electricity from cogenerators and small power producers that satisfy the conditions of a qualifying facility.

Dakota Electric will provide free information to all interested members regarding rates and interconnection requirements. An interconnection application is required and subject to approval from the cooperative before a qualifying facility interconnects and operates in parallel with the cooperative’s distribution system. Any disputes over interconnections, sales and purchases are subject to resolution by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.